Friday, October 25, 2013

Helldorado Days Tombstone, Arizona October 20, 2013

                        Dancing to country music

Helldorado Days began as a celebration of Tombstone's 50th anniversary in 1929. The festival has occurred every year since. Events include skits conducted by street reenactment groups, dancing, a parade and live music. Many people also dress up in 19th century outfits with rifles or six shooters. Photos on this blog include reenactment groups from Tombstone, Wilcox and Yuma. For more information on Helldorado Days go to the Tombstone Chamber of Commerce Website. (Some information on this post from the website).
                           People dressed up in Tombstone. I guess remembering the good old days.

                     Two members of the Yuma Vigilantes

                                     Woman with the Yuma Vigilantes

                               Another skit by the Yuma Vigilantes

                     Tara got pulled in.

                                  Team from Wilcox, AZ
                      Tombstone reenactors

                     "The Cowboys"  depicting a shootout that occurred in 19th century Tombstone

Tumamoc Hill hike #2 Tucson, Arizona October 15, 2013

               Afternoon sun on Tucson and Catalinas in background

I originally hiked Tumamoc on September 24. The views were extraordinary and I did not notice the people on the trail.  I returned three weeks later to enjoy the sunset and desert evening. Enjoy my photographs. (For metadata information on the hike consult my September 24, 2013 post).

          Love this photo. The sun had just set below the ridge. Love the glow

  View south from top. Notice the Observation buildings and Ocotillos in the foreground.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tucson Meet Yourself A Folklife Festival October 13, 2013

                                     The City Hall Stage 

This past weekend Tucson, Arizona, held its annual Tucson Meet Yourself Festival. This festival is the "annual celebration of the living traditional arts of Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico's diverse ethnic and folk communities." Tara and I were able to attend the festival on Sunday. We watched performances on four different stages and ate food from many different cultures. What also made the festival fantastic were the artisan booths.We saw pottery from the Navajo nation, Ukranian pottery, Navajo rugs and cowboy boots. On this blog I have included pictures from the performances of POW WOW 101, Filipino American Sampagay, Siva Maia Polynesian Dancers, Aztec Dance of Central Mexico and Awen Rising (an Early Celtic Folk group).  Next year I hope to go to all three days of the festival.

                           Pottery at the festival

                               Cool picture of cowboy boots in a row

                     The festival with  the  spanish style City Hall in the background

                           Awen Rising on the City Hall stage

                            Young dancer

             Polynesian dancers

                            Polynesian dancers

                          Polynesian dancers

                                Festival downtown with vendors

                     POWWOW 101

                Another dancer with POWWOW 101

                      Aztec group on City Hall stage
                              Aztec Dancing Group

Monday, October 14, 2013

Mt. Woodson to Big Sky Ecological Reserve Poway, California October 8, 2013

                      Map of Woodson and Lake Poway showing the trails

Recently while visiting my family in Rancho Bernardo, California, I have done more research on hiking in the San Diego area.  What I have found is that suburban San Diego has a wealth of hiking most of which I have overlooked during my life. Last December I hiked up Iron Mountain and Bernardo Mountain. These hikes were very rewarding and gave great views.

 This time I am going to hike from Highway 67 to Espola Road through Blue Sky Reserve.  This is a one-way hike so a shuttle is necessary. The hike is 8 plus miles with approximately 2,000 feet of elevation gain. Route finding is minimal but hikers do need to read the trail signs. The approach to Mount Woodson on the eastern side is an old fire road. The road is used by maintenance workers who maintain the transmission towers at the top.

 At the top hikers can see downtown San Diego and the ocean. Make sure to stay away from the towers and structures. Today the view was obscured by haze, smog and a cloud bank off the coast. While on top I also explored the many boulders some of which are the size of two story houses. The  trail down the western side to Lake Poway is straightforward but also hot with Chaparral, Manzanita and Ceanothus as the dominant vegetation.   At Lake Poway follow The Lake Poway Recreational Trail around the eastern side of the lake to the main trail in Blue Sky. Blue Sky is a welcome respite from the heat because of its Coast Live Oaks and Sycamores however, watch out for Poison Oak which is everywhere. (My camera stopped working at the start of the hike so these photos were compliments of Google Images. All other photos on this blog unless noted I took).

Special Considerations: Bring plenty of water, wear a hat and sunscreen. There is not a lot of shade especially on the western side of the mountain.This is rattlesnake country so keep an eye out for them. Remember they are an integral part of the ecosystem so leave them alone.This is also Mountain Lion country so consider hiking in groups.

                                                  Trail up the western side

                                          Blue Sky Reserve

                                       Lake Poway

                                           View from the top

Friday, October 4, 2013

Maynard Dixon Murals Tucson Depot October 2013

At the Tucson Train Station are three murals painted by the 20th century landscape painter Maynard Dixon. Dixon was commissioned by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1907 to paint four depictions of life in the Western United States. In early 1940 Southern Pacific employees removed the paintings to redesign the depot. The murals were sent to San Fransisco for restoration and safe keeping. During removal from Tucson, workers badly damaged a painting entitled "Irrigation."  In 1942 San Fransisco donated the paintings to the Temple of Music and Art in Tucson for public display. Visitors never saw the paintings because they remained in storage collecting dust for 27 years. In 1969 Ernest Hoffman found the paintings and sold them to a local art dealer. The paintings hung in the Catalina Savings and Loan Office for four years. In 1973 they were donated to the Arizona Historical Society. (Information from depot display).

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pontatoc Ridge Trail September 29, 2013

                   Trail profile from

Location: The trail head for Pontatoc Ridge is located at the end of North Alvernon Road. Take Campbell Road to Skyline Road. Take a right onto Skyline Road and drive until you see Alvernon Road on the left. Three trails originate at this trail head including Finger Rock Canyon, Pontatoc Canyon and Pontatoc Ridge.  The Finger Rock Canyon trail is longer giving hikers and backpackers the chance to connect into more trails in the Catalina Mountains. Finger Rock is also popular with hikers who want to climb Mount Kimball.

Hike and Trail Description: Today I started hiking around three o'clock to take advantage of the late afternoon and early evening temperatures. I chose Pontatoc Ridge because it was shorter and it gained elevation quickly. The hike is about 5 miles round trip and it gains over 2000 feet in elevation. The Pontatoc Ridge trail branches off from Pontatoc Canyon after one mile of hiking. The trail sweeps back to the front of the ridge and then gains elevation quickly. The trail is very rocky so watch your footing and the cacti which grow over the trail in places. The trail gets  faint and hikers have made other illegal trails making it hard to follow. If you hike in the Catalina foothills watch out for rattlesnakes. Today I saw a beautiful Mohave rattlesnake. The snake was not at aggressive and actually more afraid of me. I gave it plenty of room and watched from a distance. Snakes play a vital role in our ecosystem so don't kill them.

                          A forest of Teddy Bear Cholla

                  Finger Rock Canyon in the background with Yucca and Ocotillos in foreground

                    Looking up Pontatoc Canyon

                   Saguaros with Tucson in the valley

                   Forest of Teddy Bear Cholla; I wouldn't hug them though.

                            Mohave Rattlesnake; distinguishable by green tint.

                    Late afternoon sun.

               Last light on Pontatoc Ridge

                 Catalina foothills